Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 3, 1973 · Page 50
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 50

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 3, 1973
Page 50
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Then One Day A Woman Demanded Her Own Ignition Key ~ ; ', . . ^ · Text and Photos by Dan Tortorell This is Kathy Andree having fun although her expression may not reflect it. She's simultaneously steering, shifting, accelerating, braking and searching the rapidly approaching gates for a microscopically, quicker way through. When the clocks are timing her to the nearest thousandth of a second everything makes a difference. · Preparation makes a difference too. Here Jim Gray use's his Corvette for a guinea pig in an attempt to acquaint Linda Ferst, Lynn Terry and Bonnie Powell with last minute timing and throttle linkage adjustments. It paid off for Linda, she won the ladies' class driving her husband's Corvette. The timing van is the heart and soul of the slalom event. The two white-fronted boxes are the timers and allow two cars to run the course together with a safe interval In between. Linda Krause (center) and A little Gremlin circulates through the .6 mile course under the watchful eye of Lynn Terry. When the run is completed she will call the number, if any, of pylons struck to the timing van. Baby sitters aren't a necessity. While mom is racing there are always willing friends to keep the -kids happy. Barbara Schwark (right) note the times and mark them on the entrant's time sheets. These are given to Wendy Krause who calls them in to the master Scoreboard at a nearby location. Time was when a woman was tucked, ever so lightly, into the seat of an auto to tide daintily aloof from the complexities of levers, gears and lurches. Then one day a woman demanded her own ignition key. Evolution was inevitable. Gar manufacturers, rising to the/distaff level, began offer- Ing comfort, style, and ease of handling .with fingertip controls; M s luch triggered elec? tronic devices. Men began to cast about for new areas to dominate. Enter the Sports Car. Low slung, it leans forward like a hunting dog at point. Its exhausts can lie trained to emit " roars or purrs; its gauges, levers and jargon are designed to deflect feminine interest. Sports cars profliferated after WWII, and enthusiasts banded together in clubs wherein members could nurture their exuberance. Soon groups split off to encircle members owning cars of the same make.. , Happy with her share of the automatic drive family car, but suffering from the loneliness caused by her husband's gravitational pull to the car ..club, woman infiltrated the .clan by way of her talents with "bookkeeping and other minion activities. Then, one day she demanded her own ignition key. On a huge, horizonless con- crete pad, formerly used for airplane parking at Davis- Monthan AFB, the first Eyery- Qther-Second-Sunday Sports Car slalom was held recently. Under the auspices of the Southern Arizona Council of Automobile Clubs, Sports Car Club of America and the Tuc; son Corvette Club, 133 drivers^ 10 of them \vomen, registered ata desk, manned by women. Official inspectors 'checked engines, front ends arid tires, with emphasis on safety and road worthiness. Classifications of cars and drivers were coded with numbers painted on designation "L" -- for lady-while others carried information that the same vehicle would be driven in separate heats by a man and a woman. "Be sure to say that the course is laid out on a parking 'apron'," quipped a lady driver as she manicured a spark plug. Drivers'weave their mounts through a corridor of rubber pylons, where skill in handling is far more important than maintained high speed. Topple a pylon and a one-second penalty is added to the total time. Accept the offer to ride along as ballast with one of the lady drivers and one learns quickly the purpose of that little handle affixed to the dashboards of sports cars. It is called the "granny bar." , Twenty cars are lined up at the starting gate, pushed to position by hand so that en- gines are kept front over-' heating caused by idling. The gals shove their cars. along the line with :the same ease as sliding a food tray down a cafeteria serving line. ' The flagman (often a woman), stands poised, awaiting a signal from the brain center, van which receives the reports "fromcourse \yorkers (women) ; "at several points along the course. Study the face of the woman behind the wheel. Under the shell of the crash helmet that canopies her tiny face- her tweezed eyebrows strain to unite as a sinister grimace transforms her. Panther-like, shallow breathing, teeth gritting, ready for the kill. . The green flag dropped, the car leaps past the electric beam that sets off a device in the van, measuring in . thousandths, of a second the time elapse from slart to finish. Two women keep a vigil on the timing device while a third mans a two-way phone hookup to a master scoreboard. It's turn and twist, weave in and around onrushing pylons; braking, then jamming the throttle to the floor, shifting : up and slutting down. The steering wheel is .her lance and her feet are as busy as those of an Irish jigger. The car fights gravity and momentum. One final turn and a skidless stop a mere three inches Continued on page 1C Shoe polish numbers on the windshield don't make it at Le Mans, but here It works great. The markings denote the order in which Kathy Andree (101L) and her husband Skip (85) will run their Porsche Speedster through the course. PAGE 14 PAGE :is

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